O's missed chances cost them dearly as they bow out.
By Scott Armstrong
Football can be a cruel game as the O's found out yesterday afternoon.
Oldland were knocked out the FA Vase by Totton on a hot September afternoon. They had been boosted by the return of Lewis Parker and Josh Southway who were both unavailable for the league game against Sherborne. The pitch thanks to the ground staff and volunteers was in great condition as well as the glorious sunshine making the setting for a perfect game of football.
Oldland started the game well and created their first opportunity when a good run by Josh Williams saw him pull the ball back for Liam Gale who stung the palms of the visiting goalkeeper. Oldland then created another chance with Josh Williams this time hitting the post from his shot. However the visitors with good pace up top was getting joy down their right hand side due to lack of tracking by the O's. This proved decisive as in the 20th minute the hosts full back found him self in space to slide Sam Vidler in whose shot from a tight angle hit the far post and into the O's net. A change of shape by Oldland management saw them get a firm foot hold in the game. Good midfield play by Ben Starr, Tom Pawley and Adam Ireland saw the ball pulled back across the face of goal albeit at the wrong height and evade everyone in the 6 yard box, a common theme throughout the afternoon. It was hosts turn then as they hit Oldland on the break but Chris Manns produced a routine save to keep the score down. Defender Jamie Symonds then had an opportunity to equalise from a corner but his header from 8 yards out was well saved by the Totton & Eling FC goalkeeper. Oldland did get their equaliser when good team play saw Josh Williams then ghost past his man to roll the ball into the net for 1-1 on 44 minutes.
Oldland finished the half stronger and the better side but the score was firmly balanced.
HT OAFC 1-1 T&EFC
The O's come out the traps very quickly and really dominating possession creating chances. The first one coming from good midfield interplay for Josh Williams to square the ball across the face of goal with Liam Gale on rushing at back post. However the ball some how went straight through the strikers legs and a huge opportunity missed. It was Gale's turn to try to turn provider but this time he squared the ball with to much pace and at head height evading everyone. Midfielder Tom Pawley then worked the goalkeeper who produced a routine save with his shot from distance. Oldland did take the lead with a serious goal of the season contender on 60 minutes. Josh Williams took the corner from the far side at the clubhouse end. Josh Williams picked out Lewis Parker on the far side of the 18 yard box who delightfully inside of the left foot volleyed the ball into the top left hand corner of the goal . 2-1 Oldland, a goal worthy of the tv screens.
O's with the lead and tails up were comfortable creating opportunities with Liam Gale pulling a shot wide and then working the goalkeeper at his near post. After good team play the ball was switched to the far side which saw full back Joe Walters in 5 yards of space just inside the box but he curling effort was tame and easily dealt with by the goalkeeper. As the opportunities past the atmosphere in the ground became tense as if there was going to be late heartache and drama and guess what, they wasn't wrong. In the 83rd minute Oldland forwards let the visitors defender out too easily by not tracking back. The defender played a ball into the midfielder who drifted past 4 Oldland players making half hearted attempts to win the ball. The ball was then played into his striker who fired a low cross into the 6 yard box for the ball to be bundled home by Rory Wood. The game went from being comfortable to 7 minutes of madness. A carbon copy of the equaliser then turned into heartache for the O's and their supporters as the visitors snatched a late late winner, Joe Selby flicking home a low cross. Oldland's dreams of progressing were left in tatters as the score swung 2-3 to the visitors. Oldland thought they had an equaliser when Jordan Chubb pulled the ball back for Scott Gregory to tap the ball
home only the be flawed by a doubious offside flag.
Oldland will be wondering how they never put the game to bed with missed opportunities and then poor defending to let the visitors back into the game.
We caught up with Oldland manager Scott Armstrong on the result and Performance," I'm absolutely gutted and disappointed with exiting the cup at the first hurdle. We got ourselves back in the game and then was In front, at the point of being back in front we was comfortable but missed so many opportunities to kill the game off. The missed chances come back to haunt us. Our defending for their goals today was also not good enough and something as a team we need to work harder on. It's certainly tough one to take but we must dust ourselves off quickly as we now have a local derby up next."